#1 fund for weathering market ups and downs3
SuperRatings' Pension of the Year three years in a row4
Juliet O’Brien describes herself as a wife, mother, grandmother, ‘ten Pound Pom’, local author and retired Year 1 teacher. She also calls herself, ‘one of the lucky ones’.
And 15 years into a very happy retirement you can see why.
‘I have my health, a wonderful family, eight grandchildren and I spend my time doing things I enjoy. With our savings and super we are able to live comfortably. Much of what I do would not be possible without the ongoing support from my husband and family,’ Juliet says.
To describe Juliet as ‘active’ is somewhat of an understatement. Between family, friends, tennis, lapidary, alumni committees and travelling regularly, there aren’t a lot of gaps in her diary.
And while she might be busier than many of us would choose to be, she’s living her dream retirement. It’s hard not to feel a little envious.
Juliet attributes her success to luck, but it has also involved a fair amount of planning and determination. Starting with a decision to prove her husband wrong when he predicted she’d find retirement boring.
Now with 15 years under her belt, we asked her to share some of her tips for creating a happy and fulfilling retirement.
‘I took some long-service leave and used this time to really think about what I enjoyed. My first step was to join the local tennis club where I still play a couple of times a week. ‘I also fell in love with gem mining on a camping trip to Rubyvale many years ago and now I go back there two or three times each year, often with my grandchildren. You meet the most interesting people and I’ve made some wonderful friends over the years. ‘I’d recommend looking at what’s available in the outside world that might interest you before you retire,’ she said.
‘Aside from tennis, I’m secretary for Alumni Friends at The University of Queensland. It keeps my mind alive and my computer skills up to date. Every couple of years a group of dedicated volunteers, some well into their 90s, run a book fair which raises around $100,000 for the UQ Alumni Trust. It’s a great way to give back to the university and its students. ‘Computers and email make it a lot easier to be involved these days, because you can be at home and still stay in touch,’ she said.
‘Retirement gives you the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, with the most incredible experiences. I’ve met some really interesting people who I’m pleased to say I can now call friends.’
‘I taught Year 1 full time right up until I retired. I was ready to retire when I did, but I do miss teaching from time to time. There’s nothing like seeing the joy on a child’s face when they read their first book or write their first story and the teacher can read it back to them. Magic! It’s something most parents don’t get to see,’ Juliet said.
Dreaming of a scenery change in retirement? Here’s a few hints to help you on your way.
Find out why regular exercise is essential later in life and some of the ways you can keep your body moving. We offer up a range of activities to take your pick of.
Everyone's retirement goals are different depending on their lifestyle. Learn how much super you might need to retire at age 65.
Understand how much you need to take out of super